Hellllooo! I am still alive and well in the absence of social media, if you can believe it 🙂 Yes, I know, it’s crazy to think life goes on and can be lived just as well, if not better, without it. Remarkable, ha?!
17.5 days ago, precisely, I started a little 35 day journey of writing, reading and fasting. Writing about whatever comes to me in the first 45 or so minutes after waking up and before little Zoey gets up. Reading through the book of Joshua. And fasting from social media. I have received texts, emails and phone calls from people cheering me on and asking me how it’s going. So today, I thought I would share with you a few things that I am learning.
The first thing is this. God has to be first in my life. It’s no coincidence He asked me to get up before my whole family and spend time with Him. First. I’m not going to lie, what it means to have God first is huge and scary and I actually get a little uncomfortable writing it down right now. Because what does that even mean, how does it really work and do people think that I am crazy?! But instead of going into freak out mode, I am going to just continue making Him first each morning and not worry too much about it. He has definitely spoken to me, inspired me and challenged during these mornings and that, my friends, has been remarkable and gives me a thirst for more.
Second. I am learning to live a bit more in the present. Living for right now, for today. Listen. I actually cannot stand the clichés of “one day at a time” or “be present” or “present over perfect” and the list goes on. Sometimes I think people post those quotes and actually have no clue what it means to live them out (ahem, guilty as charged). Because I would argue that 99% of human beings struggle with this. Actually, I change my mind. 100% of human beings. Living right now, for today, without worrying about tomorrow or the next day is borderline impossible. At least for me. But for some unexpected reason, God is slowly (double emphasis on the word slowly) showing me how to do this. One example I’ll give you is this. We recently took our first trip to Chicago. With a newborn. For a work conference. Sandwiched and squeezed in between visiting friends and family. My brain couldn’t help but go into the stress of it all. How will we get to Brenda’s house? When will I pump? (sorry, TMI) What if Zoey doesn’t sleep? What if I don’t sleep? And the list went on and on and on. And God intervened, like he usually does, but this time I was listening and hearing. And he stopped me. And said, Ann, today. That’s all you have to face. Just today. And I’m with you today and my mercies are new each morning.
So instead of STRESSING about today and tomorrow and the next day, I started to live today, appreciate the moments and be thankful for them. I remember nursing Zoey and having a couple of hours with her before visiting like 74 people over the course of 3 days and my mind started racing. And then I stopped. I soaked up that moment while nursing her and told her that we were going to have a mommy/daughter morning in the hotel. We snuggled and played and laughed. It’s quite amazing what happens when you just stop and change your thinking into the present moment you are in. Needless to say, my days have been substantially different and noticeably better and more peaceful.
And the third and final point I’ll share with you (I have many more, but, just giving you a little insight into what is happening!) is regarding my social media fast. I literally have not been on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter or my blog in 17.5 days.
I would be a big fat liar if I told you I didn’t miss it. I do feel disconnected. And I do feel a little bit that I am missing out. On what? I guess just being a part of people’s lives cyberly (yes, I just made up that word and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the word of 2015). Or sharing pieces of my life. Moments that I want to desperately communicate as I think a few words or a picture could inspire or help someone.
And with all that said, conversely, I do feel a little less handcuffed. I am able to be more present. My mind is clearer. I go to bed earlier. (Before, I would go on Facebook before bed and next thing I knew, 30 dang minutes had passed! People, sleep is precious when you have a newborn and I would literally lose 30 minutes, sometimes more, on Facebook when I should have been sleeping!) It is making me that much more focused in these 35 days and does, absolutely, help me to pay more attention to real life. I can’t say something crazy remarkable has happened but, I am still in the midst of the fast and going to forge ahead.
So there you have it, friends. A little sneak peek into what God is doing and what I am learning. I have about 8,000 words typed. 15 pages. Many new thoughts, some messy, others inspiring and exciting. A few clear takeaways. Small triumphs of clarity for my life. Awesome, intimate time with God. Some disappointing mornings where I feel nothing, hear nothing. Tired days (getting up at 6am often times makes for a delirious, emotional Ann…just as Rick…it’s super fun). Purposeful mornings. Confusing moments. It’s awesome and I have to say, I am excited for the next17.5 days of this 35 day journey!